Friday, August 07, 2015

The West

My experience hiking and backpacking out west is limited. I've taken a few trips there to enjoy the outdoors, but not as many as I'd like. The scenery out there is quite different from that here in the east. There's a reason they call it "Big Sky Country". The mountains are grander. The terrain is more rugged. The wildernesses are more vast. When I'm out there I walk around gawking at the grandeur of it all.

But that's not to say that I think it's all superior to what we have here in the east. Our wild areas may be more ancient, more eroded, the edges filed down and enclosed by the creep of urbanization; but there is still much to love and admire in our wilderness. We don't have have the megafauna to compare, but our forests are far more diverse and generally more lush. There's nothing to compare with the autumns of an eastern hardwood landscape.

We have been planning our Glacier National Park trip for an entire year. The day is coming for us to head out. Provisions are stocked. The vehicles are ready. Funds are in place. What reservations we can make have been made. Expectations are at their highest level.

Here we go.

Hiking the big peaks.

Looking into the wilderness of Montana.

A Montana lake.

Grizzly country.

Hiking above treeline on talus slopes.

Bull moose.

Brown phase black bear.

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